Eric Winston OT 6'6 302 Miami
By: Robert Davis
Eric Winston came to Miami as a tight end, and eventually outgrew the position and shifted over to tackle. As a freshman in 2002, he caught two balls for 13 yards, being used mostly in short yardage situations. As a sophomore he moved over to left tackle, and has held the job since, aside from the time missed in 2004 due to a torn left ACL.
Winston is a very talented tackle prospect. He has a great frame, with room for additional growth. He is a very good athlete, with very good agility. He has great footwork, and is always in position to keep his man in front of him. When asked to get out and move, he shows the ability to move quickly and set up to pick up his man on the move. Winston's toughness is second to none and he will not back down from anyone. He also has untapped potential left, as he has only played on the offensive line for three seasons.
A torn left ACL in 2004 has hurt Winston's stock. Had he not been injured, he had the makings of a Top 10 selection. Since coming back from the injury, his play has not been as consistent. He has a nice frame, but must add bulk and get stronger to handle NFL defensive lineman.
The injury Winston suffered has caused some doubt around his future. This was his first year back from injury, and it usually takes two years to come back at full strength. So there is reason to believe he will regain his previous level of dominance, though it is not a guarantee. As it stands now, he is still a good tackle prospect that carries a late first round grade. Whoever drafts him may get an added bonus, because if he gets back to his old form, he is a franchise level left tackle.
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